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'The Normal Heart' Scribe Larry Kramer Married In Ceremony At NY Hospital

Larry Kramer
Kramer and his partner, Larry Webster, said to the New York Times that they had set their wedding date weeks ago, before he had his current health issues. Rather than postpone, the two were married inside the intensive care unit of NYU Langone Medical Center yesterday. Kramer is currently there recovering from surgery that removed a bowel obstruction. 

Larry Kramer is known for his landmark work championing government action to combat HIV and AIDS during the 1980s. He helped found both Act Up and Gay Men's Health Crisis, and also penned two acclaimed plays based on his experiences. Recently, he also received a special Tony award for his efforts. 

According to NYT, the couple's original plan was to wed in Greenwich Village on the terrace of their apartment. Webster went on to explain.

"I had been traveling when Larry went into the hospital...and when I was back and he was able to talk, he told me he had invited 20 people to the I.C.U. for the wedding. So it turned into a little party at his bedside."

They then exchanged Cartier rings and opted to speak their wedding vows without any sort of script. According to Webster, his new husband is feeling much better than he was before. 

“He wasn’t able to attend the wedding reception afterward at Riverpark, but we’ll have a party once he’s out of the hospital.”

Larry Kramer to Receive Special Tony Award

Playwright, author, and longtime activist Larry Kramer will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award this year, the WSJ reports.

KramerThe award is "a non-competitive Tony award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations."

They add:

Kramer said so few playwrights in the U.S. write about politics, and instead focus on plays about personal relationships and families, “which I consider of lesser interest to me as a writer. If you compare it with Britain where every major playwright — David Hare, Howard Brenton – has written about what’s going on in the country, that doesn’t exist here.”

Kramer said he has been “frowned upon as a serious writer” ever since his 1985 play “The Normal Heart,” which is based upon his own experiences co-founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Kramer won a 2011 Tony for Best Revival for the revival of The Normal Heart, now being adapted into an HBO film helmed by Ryan Murphy and starring Mark Ruffalo.

The Tony Awards take place on June 9.

(image david shankbone wikimedia)

Ed Koch Wants Larry Kramer to Get Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ed Koch reviews How to Survive a Plague but fails to mention his own failed response to the AIDS crisis and its role in the film. Koch suggests, too, that Larry Kramer and other AIDS activists should get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Kramer responds in the post's comments, calling the closeted Koch "a murderer of his very own people."

DeathsKoch writes:

The person who makes the greatest impact in the film because of his superb speaking ability is Peter Staley. In his New York Times review of this movie, Stephen Holden describes Staley as: "A former closeted Wall Street bond trader with H.I.V. who left his job and helped found the Treatment Action Group, an offshoot of Act Up. Self-taught in the science of AIDS, the group collaborated with pharmaceutical companies like Merck in the development of new drugs."
Others named in the Times' review as major leaders of Act Up, which began its activities in 1987, are Larry Kramer, Robert Rafsky and Ann Northrop, all of whom appear in the film. I don't know if these individuals were ever honored by the White House for what they did in fighting government and powerful corporations. If not, I urge President Obama to do so by presenting them and other leaders recognized by Act Up with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Staley responds, in Poz:

Amazing how he fails to mention his own shameful role in this film, or this history...

And Larry Kramer responds, in the Poz post's comments:

What is this evil man up to as he approaches his death? Is he trying to make up to us? National Medals of Freedom from the White House! Would these provide a big enough enema to clean out his rotten insides? We must never forget that this man was an active participant in helping us to die, in murdering us. Call it what you will, that is what Edward Koch was, a murderer of his very own people. There is no way to avoid knowing that now. The facts have long since been there staring us in the face. If we don't see them, then we are as complicit as he.

How to Survive a Plague: VIDEO


How To Survive a Plague, David France's chronicle of ACT-UP and the battle to find life-saving drugs at the height of the AIDS crisis, gets an official trailer today.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "How to Survive a Plague: VIDEO" »

'How To Survive A Plague' Gets Big Review; Filmmaker David France Talks History: VIDEO

Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic and current all-purpose NYT essayist, today published an excellent review of How To Survive a Plague, the new David France documentary which chronicles the worst days of the AIDS epidemic, particularly as it unfolded in New York, and particularly as seen from the vantage point of ACT UP and its spin-off, TAG. From the review:

[I expected] to cry, and cry I did: at the hollowed faces of people whittled to almost nothing by a disease with an ugly arc; at the panicked voices of demonstrators who knew that no matter how quickly research progressed, it wouldn’t be fleet enough to save people they loved; at the breadth and beauty and horror of the AIDS quilt ...

I expected to be angry. Here, too, I wasn’t disappointed. The words of a physician on the front lines in the early days reminded me that “when people died in the hospital, they used to put them in black trash bags.” Many politicians mustered little more than contempt for AIDS sufferers. “There’s nothing ‘gay’ about these people, engaging in incredibly offensive and revolting conduct,” snarled Senator Jesse Helms ...

But, Bruni reports, there's a lot of beauty and heroism and hope here, too:

While the movie vividly chronicles the wages of bigotry and neglect, it even more vividly chronicles how much society can budge when the people exhorting it to are united and determined and smart and right. 

... 25 years ago, a tribe in desperate trouble did something that religious conservatives who can get their minds out of people’s crotches should in fact admire. It elected self-reliance over self-pity, tapping its own reserves of intellect, ingenuity and grit to make sure its members were cared for.

Take a look at the review, and watch David France talk about his film AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "'How To Survive A Plague' Gets Big Review; Filmmaker David France Talks History: VIDEO" »

Angry at Inequality, Not Marriages: Open Letter from Larry Kramer

Yesterday, playwright (The Normal Heart) and activist Larry Kramer sent out an open letter via journalist Rex Wockner in response to a quote that was published in The New York Times insinuating that he hates the fact that gays are marrying.

Here he corrects the paper:


It is very difficult to take a strong position in the gay world without being, at the least, misunderstood, and at the most extreme, vilified mercilessly. I suppose it’s like this in the straight world as well. Perhaps I shouldn’t bitch so when I’m taken to such extremes as a recent quote from me in The New York Times has provoked. I have always maintained fervently that in our world, in any world, you have to speak loudly and boldly to be heard at all. And my loud voice, which I cherish and try to use as much as I can to aid causes and beliefs I support, is one I wish everyone else also possessed and used. God, whoever made us, gave us voices to use, to speak up with. So I shouldn’t complain when my anger comes back to hit me in the face. Usually I don’t. Usually I’m pleased when my words provoke a usually passive population into getting off their asses and, well, using their own voice.

I am upset this time, though, because I’m being tarred for something I did not say. And this misstatement in my behalf is now escalating beyond sane margins and I feel the need to step in and respond, to hopefully turn this into what I believe is known as “a teachable moment.”


Continue reading "Angry at Inequality, Not Marriages: Open Letter from Larry Kramer" »


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